Australian Grainfed Exports Up In 2010

AUSTRALIA - Australia exported 68,018 tonnes swt of grainfed beef during the first four months of 2010, up seven per cent year-on-year, as feedlot turnoff increased throughout the first quarter.
calendar icon 21 May 2010
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Meat & Livestock Australia

According to Meat and Livestock Australia, over the same four month period, Australian grassfed beef exports declined 17 per cent year-on-year, to 195,104 tonnes swt, as heavy rain brought flooding and transport disruptions to large regions of Queensland and northern NSW. With the reduced grassfed cattle turnoff, total adult cattle slaughter for March quarter declined six per cent nationally, which contributed to a 12 per cent decline in exports for the same period, totalling 263,122 tonnes swt.

Shipments to Australia’s largest grainfed market, Japan, declined four per cent year-on-year, to 47,222 tonnes swt. Grainfed beef prices to Japan came under increasing pressure throughout the period, with the premium between grainfed beef, and cheaper grassfed beef, narrowing to their smallest margin in many years. With the reduced returns, Australian exporters looked towards other markets, with shipments to Korea lifting 48 per cent year-on-year, to 10,837 tonnes swt, along with an eight per cent rise to the US, to 4,520 tonnes swt.

Grainfed exports also continue to expand to developing markets, where consumers preference for, and ability to pay for the premium product, continues to increase. Shipments grew 106 per cent year-on-year to China, 60 per cent to South East Asia and 215 per cent to the Middle East, although total volumes still remain comparatively low.

Grainfed beef shipments accounted for 26 per cent of all beef exports between January and April, up from 21 per cent a year earlier.

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